Thursday, January 16, 2020

Discussion: 15 Goals For 2020

The Discussion Challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts At Midnight.

I know everyone posted their New Year’s goals a few weeks ago, but better late than never, right? I rarely achieve my New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t stop me from making them. Here’s what I hope to accomplish in 2020.

Me Goals

1. Get a better job. Or a second job.

Working in the wilderness is cool; minimum wage is not. I’d really enjoy not being poor, thank you very much. I either need a new job or a second job. Just thinking about jobs is exhausting. How do people work 8-12 hours a day and then go to a second job and work more hours? I might tell you the answer to that question at the end of 2020. Stay tuned.

2. Acquire an automobile.

I’ve never owned a car before. I suspect that cars make life easier. That is probably why so many people have them. It will for sure make carrying groceries home easier.

3. Write a horror novella . . . or novelette . . . or scary thing.

I want to return to my misspent youth! I spent my teenage years writing horror stories, posting them online, and receiving decidedly mixed reviews. I loved it. I’d like to get back into fiction writing. I want to write something that’s longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. So, like, 15,000-20,000 words? I’m trying to think of a scary topic to write about. The scariest thing I can think of right now is the 2020 presidential election. So . . . who’s ready for some election horror?

4. Actually go hiking.

One of my resolutions last year was to make a list of hiking trails and go on them. I got as far as making the list. Then I ended up working pretty much every day during the summer and fall. I want to start hiking again, even if I have to do it when there’s snow on the ground.

5. Eat less frozen garbage.

I think 97% of the food I eat comes out of the freezer and goes into the microwave. I’d like to actually cook something, not just nuke it ‘til it’s not frozen anymore. So, what are your favorite cookbooks? I need food that’s cheap, healthy, quick, and idiot-proof. Also, I need any excuse to get another book, right?

6. Run 2 miles in under 20 minutes.

I run three days a week, but I’m still the slowest runner ever. It doesn’t help that I live in a place with big hills. I’m fine for the first mile, and then each mile after that feels like I’m getting closer and closer to death. By the end of my runs, I can see a white light, and all my dead loved ones are starting to gather around me.

7. Pass gym class.

Since I’m returning to my misspent youth, I might as well return to the disaster that was gym class. I could never pass the push up/sit up test. I could do maybe four of each. Let’s change that in 2020 and shoot for 10+ sit ups and 10+ push ups.

8. Relearn Spanish . . . take two.

This was a 2019 resolution. I did a few lessons and quickly remembered how much I loathed Spanish classes as a kid. I’m going to try again this year and see if I can make it past lesson #3. If I set the bar low, I won’t disappoint myself. (Watch me quit after 4 lessons.)

9. Maybe shoot a gun?

Okay, I realize this sounds like a terrible idea, but I want to know what all the gun hype is about in the US. I live in a community where people love hunting. I can buy a gun at the same Walmart where I get my groceries. Why do people like these things so much? I want to understand the appeal.

10. Maybe survive an apocalypse?

I’ve always been interested in wilderness survival. Pretty much everything I know about it comes from Girl Scouts and Discovery Channel shows. I think it’d be helpful to learn what to do if I’m ever lost in the woods without a working phone. Since I tend to wander, getting lost is a real possibility. Wilderness survival skills may also be helpful in the unlikely event of an apocalypse. I can tell everyone that I’m preparing for an apocalypse and pretend that reading wilderness survival books is an excellent use of my time.

Blogging And Reading Goals

11. Figure out how to win at Pinterest.

For some reason, my blog gets a lot of traffic from Pinterest. I don’t know why because I don’t put a ton of effort into Pinterest. I just . . . pin stuff. And people find it. Somehow. I feel like I should be taking advantage of Pinterest and doing more to promote the blog on that site. I just need to figure out what I should be doing. I’m clueless. Help?

12. Start participating in Can’t Wait Wednesday.

I’m already doing this goal! Look at me, succeeding at 2020. You may have seen my Can’t Wait posts already. Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings. It’s a chance to spotlight upcoming book releases. I’ve never paid much attention to new books, but I know that preorders are massively helpful to authors. Preorders are what get books on bestseller lists. If I can encourage preorders and help out some authors, I want to do that.

13. Maybe become an affiliate?

Is it worth the effort to become an Amazon or Book Depository affiliate? Whenever I buy something from those sites, I use a fellow blogger’s affiliate links, but I’m guessing most people don’t do that. I’ll have to do more research on this subject. If you’re an affiliate, please tell me how it’s going for you.

14. This place needs serious help in the design department.

The blog needs a makeover. It’s needed a makeover since the second I created it. I probably need to pay an artist to redesign the graphics because I obviously can’t do it myself. I’m the one who made this mess! I’m open to suggestions of where to find a new header.

15. Read at least 50 books

Look at all my goals! Obviously I’m going to be busy this year. I usually try to read 100 books a year, but that’s not going to happen this time. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for 50.

What are your goals for 2020?


  1. Okay, your comment about seeing a white light, etc. after running made me laugh. I'm soooo not a runner. However, I do want to try and find more ways to get exercise in that I actually enjoy or you know, don't hate. I'm in two dance classes, so that's good, but I have to move more than two days a week. LOL I'm also trying to be healthier with food but I'm definitely not a cook, so that's been interesting to try and figure out. I set my goal for 50 books - I think it'll be more, but I also want to make time for other things besides reading/blogging - mainly finishing my manuscript! Good luck with your horror novella. :)


  2. Haha I love all of these, the gifs fit in perfectly. You got this!

    Ash@ JennReneeRead

  3. Why is it that the jobs we seem to love the most are never well paid??? I hear ya! I've always love your blog design but I'm looking forward to see what you come up with! And... to help you practice your Spanish :-)

  4. Good luck with your goals this year, Aj! We have a lot of similar ones. I am also hoping to read around 50 books this year, run more, and possibly acquire a second job. I'm currently a first-year college student, and I didn't work during my first semester as I experienced the transition to college, but it's time for me to start searching for more work opportunities. Best of luck with your Spanish too, I really admire language learners! :))
    claire @ clairefy

  5. Bwahahaha good luck with these goals AJ and I don't know how people do it either with two jobs!

  6. Isn't it a shame, when everything you like to do doesn't really pay well. I thought of all the stuff I have done, and the things I enjoyed most were my volunteer jobs. So, yeah, I will be cheering for both of us to find greener pastures. You have some great goals. I don't really eat too much frozen stuff, but I should try to eat better. Though, my ramen is vegan, organic, and non-GMO (I'm just saying). I did a raw thing several years ago, and it's great, because all the food is unprocessed. Other than the gas, I felt great. Good luck with all these goals!

  7. All the best on meeting your goals! I got my first car last year and I grudgingly admitted that it's useful and made life much easier. Up until then, I refused to admit such a thing. Maybe get a good used car so you don't have to deal with high car payments though.

  8. Hey, if our 3rd great grandfather Gottlieb Welsch shows up after your run, please ask him the year he was born and who his parents are. That would save me some money paying to get through that brick wall. LOL!

    Wish I could help with your website but I'm a back end developer. I don't do the make it pretty part. :)

    I also am no help with cooking. Ask my kids. LOL

    Also, #15 would be a lot easier if you didn't read those long books. Find yourself some nice paranormal cozy mysteries and you'll be through that 50 in no time. I can get through 2, sometimes 3 in a day, even when I'm busy. LOL!

  9. This is an amazing list of goals! First, I definitely WANT that horror scary thing! XD And as far as running - you got this! I've found that I really enjoy making my runs more about distance and less about time. Re: Spanish, I made it through a week of Duolingo and I think I've given up again. Haha! I hope you do better than I did! I can't WAIT to see your blog makeover!!

  10. Oh my gosh that pic for #1- right?? And lol at #6 too. I hate running. I mean for long periods. A short dash is fine, but for extended periods- I'm like- why? But health I guess- I should run more. *grumbles*

    Spanish haha. I took two years in high school and today am like no habla.

    I haven't shot a gun in ages. My dad used to take me in the woods and we'd target shoot. It was... fun, I guess? I know people though who have like 78 guns and they love on them, and I'm like... not that into it lol. Target shooting can be fun though I guess. Zombie apocalypse practice I suppose.

    The affiliate thing has me curious too. I keep wondering why aren't I doing that? Is it hard? :)

  11. Having worked years dealing with the public, I can relate to that first photo! I love that gorgeous racoon and yes, cake saved his life from Pennywise! If I lived in the US, I would have guns for home defense and go to gun ranges to ensure I don't shoot my foot off in a crisis! In the UK we aren't allowed to own guns so that option isn't available. I can't even buy machetes for the zombie apocalypse as I don't have a photo ID!

    For wilderness survival I suggest John Wiseman's pocket sized book 'SAS Survival Handbook'. It tells you everything about finding food and water, calling for help, shelter, traps etc. It's a great book and tells you how to carry a small survival kit without needing a horse to carry it! I'm useless at computer things but my background on the blog came from Pixabay which has tons of free stuff to use.

  12. I think these are great goals! I would love to write a story or something, but I have no ideas. Hiking and being outdoors is always good, so I hope you get to do more of that!

    I've toyed with the idea of signing up to be an Amazon affiliate. I don't think my blog is big enough or gets enough traffic. I always mean to use affiliate links when I buy stuff, but I always forget!

  13. You have some good goals there! I don't set goals at the end of the year--it's a busy time for me and I need time to process what I want to do. I generally set them in the summer and work on a school calendar :)

  14. I should add all these to my 2020 goals. (Except the gun one because they'd put me in jail.) Working at the library has revolutionised my cooking life though - sometimes I just take cookbooks home to read and never make anything, but I love Jack Monroe's books (she has a blog too although it'll be all English measurements.)

  15. I hope your hiking goal is successful. I love our wilderness walks and couldn't imagine having to get by without them. Could you you maybe make your second job something self-employed like leading a group of unfit nature lovers on an hour's weekly stroll at $5 a person?!
    With regards to the affiliate links, in November I earned a massive £14.38, but December was 58p and January grossed 64p which is more like the usual. I think of affiliate marketing as like the lottery - one day I'll get that jackpot!

  16. GIRL I feel you about the job stuff! And yeah Idk how one survives without a car (though to be fair I have always lived in an area with nearly non-existent public transportation so it was never an option). I hope they both go well! I need to get my ass into some kind of shape, that is one of my biggest goals for sure, but I want it to be something I actually like, because I don't need to be doing MORE stuff I hate πŸ˜‚

    As for the affiliate links... I think I have earned $20 in SIX YEARS from Amazon. Which is better than the $0 I earned from TBD, which is why I stopped using those. They were such a hassle and I never got a cent. Amazon is super easy to link to at least, and since I am linking anyway, might as well. I do use Google AdSense, and I have earned like, $200 in 6 years, whcih isn't great but it's better than the others. Also, do you know what an absolute GEM you are for shopping through people's links!? Like you are the BEST.

    I would like to relearn/for real learn Spanish. I was actually a Spanish major for two years but it just... didn't go great. Maybe we should just start talking to each other in Spanish and see how it goes πŸ˜‚

  17. I don't even know how Pinterest does so well for my blog either, but it really does. Especially for reviews, so I'll keep pinning :P I love the hiking goal as I totally love hiking, and I also really enjoy cooking so I am looking forward to you making more food and doing cooking things :D I also definitely approve of the horror or scary writing one. My wip for this year is a black, female-centric horror novel so if you want a scary writing partner, you know where to find me ;) I have been working on Spanish this month and it's... going? I hope it goes well for you too. And that you find a better job!!

    Olivia-S @ Olivia's Catastrophe

  18. Yes! I run a discord server for women who write horror if you want to join us. Let me know, and I'll send you the link.

  19. Amazing goals!! I wish you the best of luck!! <3

  20. These are all wonderful goals! I don't know that I will ever be able to run fast. I ran in spurts at the gym yesterday and could barely move last night. Of course, you are way ahead of me. I hope you are able to find a job that will be what you need. I don't know how people juggle two jobs long term. I can't wait to see how much you accomplish in 2020! Good luck, AJ!

  21. Okay, first of all, thank you for making me laugh---you are like the only blogger I know who can make me laugh with your yearly goals. It's a gift.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  22. Se puede aprender EspaΓ±ol. Buena suerte. Mi semana

  23. It's great if you can find a second jib thats something that you like doing. I've had a few. I "babysat" three girls between the ages of ten and fifteen, in the evenings while their mom worked. I was there mostly to keep them for burning down the house cooking and to make sure they did their homework. The rest of the time I watched television with the them. Ha ha. I also used to read to an elderly man three nights a week. Watching older kids five plus years old is probably my favorite extra job. πŸ‘✨

    The racoon meme had me crying. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Pages Unbound did a blog post about using Pinterest. They get a lot of traffic from Pinterest,too. I also want to start figuring out the Pinterest thing! πŸ’»

    I have shot guns. It's really nothing special. I think people who get off on intimidating others are the ones who turn into gun crazies. πŸ˜›

    Good luck with your goals! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

  24. Good luck on your goals! I love hiking and birding, so much fun.
    To make learning Spanish more fun, you can start reading children books in Spanish. As you are in the US, go to your library website, I bet they have TumbleBooks and/or similar programs where you can read their online kids books in Spanish. You could also read a book you know well and love, like Harry Potter or other in Spanish? Have you used Duolingo? It's a great free website and app. Makes learning languages easier and more fun

  25. Oh I forgot to specify what's really cool with TumbleBooks, it's like animated books, plus you can read an hear the words at the same time

  26. About becoming familiar with another language, maybe watch soap operas in native tongue with subtitles or where episodes are explained? I learned a lot about Korean culture and some Korean language that way :D and I also learned English this way when I moved from Russia to America 20 plus years ago. Good luck on your goals!